The 101st season of the NFL falls into the controversial year of 2020 and is pending developments due to the pandemic crisis in the United States. It is scheduled to kickoff on September 10th with the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs taking on the Houston Texans on Thursday.
The 2020-2021 NFL season kicks off with a thrilling clash between the Texans and the Chiefs as they both have strong young quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. They are among the most successful in the league at the moment, and they will make sure that this game is one stunning opener for both teams.
All 32 teams of the NFL will play a schedule comprising of 16 games this season with one by week for each team. It concludes on 3rd January of 2021, after finishing up all 16 games for each side, all of which are intra-division matchups. The playoff fixtures are scheduled for the 9th of January, with the Super Bowl LV set to take place at the Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida on 7th February 2021.
US viewers can sign up for FuboTV, which provides live NFL games without the need for cable. NFL has also spread the rights across a number of channels including NBC, Fox, CBS, ESPN, NFL Network, NFL Redzone.
DAZN is the new home of football in Canada, which has the rights to broadcast live NFL games.
For more consistent viewing, an NFL Game Pass makes excellent value and it’s cheaper in some countries than others.
Sky is a one-stop platform for UK fans to watch all NFL games, as they screen NFL fixtures across the Sky Sports NFL and Sky Sports Main Event channels, as well as through the Sky Go app.
Kayo Sports is a new player in the game and a great place to watch all live NFL games in Australia, additionally they include ESPN too.
NFL Week 1 schedule 2020
Note: Kickoff times in BST (British Summer Times)
Friday 11th Sept
*NFL Kickoff Game*
1.20am – Houston Texans VS Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday 13th Sept
6pm – Seattle Seahawks VS Atlanta Falcons
6pm – Cleveland Browns VS Baltimore Ravens
6pm – Philadelphia Eagles VS Washington Football Team
6pm – Green Bay Packers VS Minnesota Vikings
6pm – Chicago Bears VS Detroit Lions
6pm – New York Jets VS Buffalo Bills
6pm – Indianapolis Colts VS Jacksonville Jaguars
6pm – Las Vegas Raiders VS Carolina Panthers
6pm – Miami Dolphins VS New England Patriots
9.05pm – Los Angeles Chargers VS Cincinnati Bengals
9.25pm – Tampa Bay Buccaneers VS New Orleans Saints
9.25pm – Arizona Cardinals VS San Francisco 49-ers
Monday 14th Sept
1.20am – Dallas Cowboys VS Los Angeles Rams
Tuesday 15th Sept
1.15am – Pittsburgh Steelers VS New York Giants
3.20am – Tennessee Titans VS Denver Broncos
The following are some of the top teams in each division and here’s why they will make a strong impact in the season:
The Bills rewarded Sean McDermott for strong work with a defensive-minded team and there are now bigger offensive expectations with quarterback Josh Allen going into his third season with a new No. 1 wide receiver, Stefon Diggs. When examining both sides of the ball, the Bills have the few questions of any roster in the division. Everything is right in front of them to elevate from wild-card status and dethrone the Tom Brady-less Patriots.
New England Patriots
The Patriots, beyond Brady, also lost a lot defensively and still don’t know whether Jarrett Stidham or Cam Newton will replace Brady. But this is Bill Belichick, who still has a deep secondary to lift the defense and the blockers and running backs to pound out enough complementary offense. Belichick’s new coaching mission will be helping his team to grind out enough wins to simply make the playoffs.
The Ravens lost only vital player in the offseason, right guard Marshal Yanda to retirement. They reinforced their running game with J.K. Dobbins and got more explosive options for their passing game, which is good extra support for reigning MVP dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson. They also continued reshuffling the defense to an improved front seven. They won’t as easily win the division, but the Ravens should enjoy a comfortable repeat.
The Steelers somehow managed to get to 8-8 without Ben Roethlisberger because of their elite defense led by T.J. Watt and the No. 1 pass rush. Even with some running back, wide receiver and tight end personnel issues to iron out, they should feel confident they can be at least two games better with Big Ben to make the playoffs another time with Mike Tomlin.
This division is tricky, given the Texans have won two consecutive titles but have seen the two runners-up, the Colts and the Texans, go farther in the playoffs in both years. This year, there’s room for only one playoff team from this weak division. Deshaun Watson is the biggest reason Houston is the pick for a three-peat, despite big offensive change minus DeAndre Hopkins and a defense breaking down behind J.J. Watt.
Watson remains the biggest game-changing Qb in the division. Meanwhile, the Colts are hoping they can revive Philip Rivers’ career with Frank Reich to better complement their run-heavy approach, backed by a solid playmaking defense that now has DeForest Buckner fronting it. But it’s hard to buy too much into Rivers with some key skill change around him.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs won Super Bowl 54 and were able to avoid major personnel losses, paying Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones and Travis Kelce in the process. They are pretty much the team that finished last season on top of the world, only with rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire replacing Damien Williams with no Laurent Duvernay-Tardif up front. They remain a strong favorite to repeat in the AFC, despite the Ravens remaining on their heels.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are bound to rebound with how much talent they have on defense and Tyrod Taylor restoring some stability to the offense after Rivers’ shaky final season with the team. Taylor can help their big playmakers shine on one side, while Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Casey Heyward and Derwin James now get help from Linval Joseph, Kenneth Murray and Chris Harris Jr on defense. One or two frustrating games for Anthony Lynn’s team just keep them out of the playoffs.
The Eagles and Cowboys limped in the division race last season. The Eagles overcame injuries to win, while the Cowboys couldn’t put enough together to scratch out a wild card in a top-heavy NFC. The Eagles can trust Carson Wentz to stay healthy and have more depth and youthful explosiveness around him.
The Cowboys can remain prolific offensively with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott and be more aggressive to make plays in a new defense. This year, there are room for both teams in the playoffs in a more successful battle that’s just as tight.
The Vikings lost to the Packers twice last season to deny themselves a division crown, something they will enjoy for the first time in three seasons under Mike Zimmer. They have found the ideal run-heavy offensive formula with Dalvin Cook to get the best passing from Kirk Cousins. They lost a lot of familiarity in the secondary and up front, but their constant investment in defensive depth will pay off in another strong complementary unit.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ four-game regression is tied to their overachieving from last season and facing a tougher schedule this season. Matt LaFleur’s offensive identity with Aaron Rodgers won’t catch up on anyone, and the Packers didn’t improve as much as they needed to help Rodgers. The defense will still be a backbone, but the edges of their front three and the middle of tsecond four are concerns.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady gets his sweet revenge in leading the Buccaneers to a five-game improvement and the division title. It’s not simply Brady magic; the Bucs are loaded with more in the passing game with Rob Gronkowski, return the No. 1 run defense with Ndmakung Suh and a booming pass rush led by Shaquill Barrett. Bruce Arians has guided multiple teams to the playoffs before and will make the right adjustments to lift Brady into another postseason.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints’ run at division titles may end at three, but they’re too talented and too movitated in what could be Drew Brees’ final season to be denied one more crack at a second Super Bowl with him and Sean Payton. The offense will be more dynamic with Emmanuel Sanders and a healthy Alvin Kamara. The defense remains sturdy with Cameron Jordan, Demario Davis and a strong secondary. The Saints “regress” to their record from three yaars ago but are still right there in the tournament with the Bucs.
The Seahawks were on the brink of beating out the 49ers for the division title and better playoff position in 2019. They finish the job in 2020 with Russell Wilson further raising his game with Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and now Olsen. He can lean on the mighty power running he once had with Marshawn Lynch, an element that’s back again without Lynch. They can pound it and throw it deep at a high level offensively, and with their linebackers and secondary, are starting to have that old ‘Legion of Boom’ look defensively for Pete Carroll.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers will have a mild Super Bowl hangover in sliding four games down but staying in NFC playoff position. They will recover nicely from trading Buckner defensively and also replacing Sanders offensively with a reliable formula for Robert Saleh and Kyle Shanahan. They don’t have many personnel challenges or any schematic ones, but there’s enough to allow the Seahawks to overtake them.
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